Looks like the Senators read my last post, dropped everything, called the PR staff back from the cottage, and decided to announce the official signings of Dave Cameron and Mark Reeds as the assistants to head coach Paul MacLean in Ottawa. When I lift a finger, people start running, as my seven loyal readers well know.
We already know the score with Dave Cameron, but Mark Reeds is a little less known in Ottawa unless you're a rabid follower of the Ontario Hockey League where Reeds coached the Owen Sound Attack for the last handful of years. He, like MacLean and Cameron, played in the NHL as well, spending most of his time with the St. Louis Blues and a short spell with the Hartford Whalers (and their farm team in Binghamton).
The Senators now have three main coaches with NHL playing experience, and you can also throw in some of the other assistants like Luke Richardson and Rick Wamsley in that category. The Senators have never had a coaching staff that has the potential to understand what these players are going through, which was one of the main complaints about Cory Clouston and his staff last season, where even nice guys like Daniel Alfredsson and Chris Phillips were said to be shaking their heads at the way the team was being run.
But that's ancient history now. Bryan Murray has done a stellar job getting some of the top prospective NHL coaches together in one staff, and it's going to pay off sooner rather than later I suspect. He's also got the most picks of any NHL team in tomorrow's draft (as they keep saying without realizing the shocking meaning of that number - 6 of the first 66 picks - 666 - the ultimate "goocher" number of all numbers).
Now if Murray could somehow convince the Panthers to swap picks and grab Gabriel Landeskog at number 3 (Gabriel - another biblical reference - something strange is brewing), and if the local press can stop trying to trade Jason Spezza every week, then the Senators are going into this season with nothing but positive vibes, a whip-smart coaching staff, and a team full of hungry kids fresh off an AHL championship.
Maybe they even convince a top-six forward like Ville Leino or Scottie Upshall to sign in July.
Not much to complain about right now, but I'm sure we'll find something.
As for the draft, I'll be watching just like the rest of you, clueless as to what will actually transpire, but everyone has their pet pick for the second round or later, and mine is Swedish hot-shot Joachim Nermark, who can score goals like a maniac. I'll take a shot in the dark and predict the Senators will grab Nermark on Saturday to complement their growing Swedish family. And if you've caught sight of that monstrously huge Ikea being built out by Pinecrest, guys like David Rundblad, Robin Lehner, Andre Petersson, Jakob Silfverberg, Marcus Sorenson and (hopefully) Landeskog should feel right at home here in Little Sweden by the River.